For the 25th year, Melburnians have united to support families and individuals facing crisis, donating 47 tonnes of food and essential items to Wesley Mission Victoria’s annual Food for Families appeal.
Thanks to the generosity of 234 workplaces, 99 schools and kindergartens and 152 individuals, more than 3,000 donation boxes and bags were filled with a range of items including pasta, toilet rolls, sandwich spreads, nappies, school snacks and even gifts.
In addition, 235 volunteers were only too happy to lend a hand to make the appeal a success, with some getting behind the wheel to undertake collections across Melbourne, and others working tirelessly to sort and stack goods at Wesley’s Crisis and Homelessness Services in Ringwood and Footscray.
Wesley Crisis and Homelessness Manager, Janene Evans, said that with homelessness on the rise she’s grateful that the generosity of the community has remained incredibly strong over the past 25 years.
“With Australia facing an affordable housing crisis, we can safely predict that the 47 tonnes of goods will go a long away to helping struggling families throughout 2017. We’re so thankful that during this ongoing time of great need, public support remains high,” Ms Evans said.
“Thanks to the many thoughtful donations we received, at Christmas we were able to provide hams, puddings, gifts and a range of everyday items to young families and single parents – bringing much joy on Christmas Day. We received a bunch of toiletry packs which are so precious to people who have no choice but to live in their cars. We even received a donation of 400 toilet rolls which remains a sought-after item for young families.”
Single mother Nikki* realised just how fragile life can be after experiencing homelessness a few months ago as a result of family violence. While the 45 year-old rebuilds her life, she’s grateful to the community for helping her get back on track.
“Everything can be taken away from you in a split second – I mean, nobody asks to be homeless. After being forced to leave home, I was going from place to place until I came to Wesley. I’m living in a women’s crisis refuge with my son. I’m so thankful to have a roof over my head, otherwise I’d be living in the back of my car,” Nikki said.
“Since coming to Wesley, I’ve got access to toiletries, toothpaste, female products, canned products – all the things you don’t think twice about because you take them for granted. But when you’re in a position where you can’t afford these items anymore, they become so valuable.
“To everyone who has helped this appeal, thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me. Without your support Wesley wouldn’t be able to provide this valuable service.”
Wesley’s 25th annual Food for Families appeal was generously supported by many organisations including Leader Community News, 13 CABS and Boxes To Go.